Book Nook: Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter by Tom Franklin

Jun 13, 2011

Tom Franklin has written a novel about long-held secrets, mysterious disappearances, race relations, and a complicated friendship.

The friends are Larry Ott and Silas Jones. Larry is white. Silas is black. They live in the fictional town of Chabot in southeastern Mississippi. Larry is a mechanic. Silas is the town cop. Their friendship began when they were kids. But it ended because something bad happened.

As Larry and Silas attended high school their lives were separate. Larry was the reject. Silas was the star of the baseball team. An amazing thing happened; Larry went out on his first date. A girl in his class asked him
to take her to the drive-in movie theater. Then something bad happened.

That night his date vanished without a trace. The police could not prove that Larry was responsible for her disappearance. From that point on a huge shadow loomed over Larry and his family. As the book begins it is now twenty years later and Larry now runs his dad's auto repair business. He has no customers. Everybody avoids him.

Silas, his former friend, is now the the lone police officer in the town. When another young woman vanishes Larry immediately becomes the prime suspect in what appears to be another mysterious disappearance. As Silas investigates we are treated to his thought processes as this potent mystery unravels. His viewpoint is guaranteed to astonish readers.

In this interview the author describes the protracted creative process that ultimately culminated in the publication of this enchanting book.